Pest manager Brock Pearson explains why Sentricon AlwaysActive is his go-to choice of termite protection system.
Brock Pearson of Pearson Pest in Tamworth, on the North West Slopes of NSW, has been using Sentricon for many years. As a second generation pest manager, he has seen Sentricon go through its evolution from wood monitors and compressed cellulose baits to the durable solid termiticide and above-ground station that it is today. Even in the ‘old days’, he still had a preference for Sentricon as it didn’t involve exposure to chemicals.
Safety for himself and his team is paramount to Mr Pearson, who has young children of his own and a team of technicians to manage. Ensuring they can do their job effectively, efficiently and safely is a core value of his business. “For us, Sentricon AlwaysActive is easy to use. We don’t need to have any specific PPE gear apart from some latex gloves, so when we’re handling the rods we don’t contaminate them.”
This is a big advantage for the product in hot climates such as Tamworth where wearing overalls, elbow-length PVC gloves, chemical resistant footwear and/or dust masks in mid-30 to 40°C heat makes for a very uncomfortable day.
With his pest control business operating out of relatively new facilities in the industrial district of Tamworth, Mr Pearson had to review the physical requirements of housing chemicals. “There are no specific storage requirements for Sentricon. You don’t need to have big bundy pits or anything like that, because of the nature of the product.”
The fact that the active ingredient in Sentricon AlwaysActive rods is safely locked in the bait matrix means it is easily and safely moved between sites. When transporting the rods to customers, there are no transport or segregation requirements with Sentricon – a box of rods can sit on the front seat of the truck, allowing for quick and easy access.
Just as important for today’s market, however, is safety to the customer and the wider environment. “From a consumer point of view, they love Sentricon because it is an unscheduled product. Once you educate the customer about how Sentricon works, the homeowner absolutely loves it,” said Mr Pearson. “There are no chemicals where you have your family, your kids and pets. It’s a really good product in that regard, being so safe to use and it works incredibly well.”
The need to control termites whilst minimising the amount of chemicals in the environment was a major focus for researchers in the 1990s. This resulted in the development of the Sentricon Termite Elimination System, which introduced the concept of a bait and monitoring system. The 2000 US EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award went to Sentricon as it “delivers unmatched technical performance, environmental compatibility, and reduced human risk” (US EPA). Reducing the volumes of chemicals in the environment was a huge incentive for researchers and a large part of why Sentricon was awarded this prestigious environmental award.
That wasn’t enough, however, and research continued to develop an ‘always active’ system that combined the effectiveness of hexaflumuron with the safety aspects of the Sentricon system and would also eliminate colonies from day one. This project involved a multi-disciplinary team, many prototypes and took 17 years of development; perfecting a matrix that was highly desirable to termites whilst incredibly durable in all environmental conditions. Sentricon AlwaysActive was the outcome of that project and is considered by many researchers to be as close to ‘ideal’ as possible.
For Mr Pearson and his team in Tamworth, Sentricon AlwaysActive has been a game-changer. “Sentricon AlwaysActive has really accelerated our growth in this area of our business. This comes down to how consumer friendly it is, how adaptable it is, the safety of the product and the track record of Sentricon in eliminating termite colonies. For us, nothing else comes close.”
Safety is no longer a desirable aspect of a product; it is an essential requirement for any product entering the consumer market. It must also be a core value of every pest management business, as employees are relying on their managers to provide a safe workplace with minimal exposure to pesticides.